Can Chiefs find long-term solution at left tackle in 2023 NFL draft?
Finding a long term solution at LT is what the #chiefs want to happen this offseason. There are a few ways to go about getting that done. And the way KC is built they might have more confidence going a certain way than most. My report on NFL NOW on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/avHXyLLwZH
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) March 10, 2023
One of the reasons that the Kansas City Chiefs reportedly decided against using the franchise tag on LT Orlando Brown Jr. was because they wanted to find a long-term solution at the position.
Placing the tag on Brown Jr. opened the possibility that the team would be tied to him for only one year longer and at a guaranteed salary of over $20 million. Sure, they could rescind the tag, but that would leave them further away from a long-term solution.
A recent report from NFL Network’s James Palmer suggests that the Chiefs would be very comfortable searching for that long-term solution in the 2023 NFL draft.
“We’re looking at that left tackle spot,” Palmer said. “Possibly, Orlando comes back, but you saw what happened with them not tagging him. What they’re really looking to do is fix that left tackle spot long-term this offseason before 2023. Now, they have a couple of options they can go about it. They can find a veteran stop-gap kind of player, say Donovan Smith, who was just released in Tampa Bay and they could go and draft a left tackle and have him sit for a year and then be the future of the franchise, but he’s on the roster this year. They could draft a right tackle, those are some available at the end of that first round. You could have that guy play right tackle for a season then slide over and play left tackle.”
While some solutions don’t have a rookie starting right away, Palmer isn’t ruling out the possibility of Kansas City starting a rookie immediately on the left side. The team has a lot of confidence in rookies after the past two seasons, but they also feel their starting left guard could help out a young player.
“They’re in a different spot than some other teams around the league in terms of their confidence level in terms of playing a rookie right away at left tackle,” Palmer continued. “If you remember what happened after they lost to the Bucs in the Super Bowl. They went out and got Creed Humphrey at center, Trey Smith at that right guard spot and both of them played every snap right away and both of them have since it happened. They could play a left tackle, specifically, also because of their left guard in Joe Thuney. Remember what he did for Orlando Brown when he came over in that trade, slid over to that left tackle spot. (Thuney) is so smart, such a great leader and such a great player — They know with Thuney at that guard spot it really could help out a rookie left tackle playing. And they would be comfortable doing it as we saw them play eight rookies in the Super Bowl.”
Rest assured, the Chiefs are going to make some moves at the tackle position when free agency opens next week. However, it seems that things are trending toward a rookie being responsible for protecting Patrick Mahomes’ blind side in 2023.
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